STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION
Assemblyman SEAN T. KEAN
District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean)
Establishes affirmative defense to liability for licensed alcoholic beverage servers.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning the “New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Server Fair Liability Act” and amending P.L.1987, c.152.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 6 of P.L.1987, c.152 (C.2A:22A-6) is amended to read as follows:
Damages may be awarded in a civil action under P.L.1987, c.152 (C.2A:22A-1 et seq.) subject to the limitations set forth in this section.
a. The provisions of sections 1 and 2 of P.L.1973, c.146 (C.2A:15-5.1 and C.2A:15-5.2) shall apply in all civil actions instituted pursuant to the provisions of this act.
b. Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1952, c.335 (C.2A:53A-1 et seq.), section 3 of P.L.1973, c.146 (C.2A:15-5.3) or any other law to the contrary, in any case where a licensed alcoholic beverage server or any other party to a suit instituted pursuant to the provisions of this act is determined to be a joint tortfeasor, the licensed alcoholic beverage server or other party shall be responsible for no more than that percentage share of the damages which is equal to the percentage of negligence attributable to the server or other party.
c. A licensed alcoholic beverage server shall be entitled to an affirmative defense against liability under P.L.1987, c.152 (C.2A:22A-1 et seq.), if the licensed alcoholic beverage server, or an employee of the licensed alcoholic beverage server, made a good faith effort to arrange transportation for the visibly intoxicated patron.
(cf: P.L.1987, c.152, s.6)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This legislation is to be called “Cory’s Law” after Cory Aufiero of Colts Neck who was tragically hit by a car and killed after he left a bar. His family and friends hope that this bill will help save lives.
Under the New Jersey Licensed Alcoholic Beverage Server Fair Liability Act, also known as the “dram shop” law, a licensed alcoholic beverage server may be liable for personal injury or property damage caused by the negligent service of alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron. Under current law, a person injured by an intoxicated person may bring a suit against the establishment that served alcoholic beverages to the person that caused the injury, even if an employee of the establishment attempted to arrange transportation for the visibly intoxicated person.
This bill would provide a defense against liability for damages under the State’s dram shop law, if the licensed alcoholic beverage server or an employee made a good faith effort to arrange transportation for the visibly intoxicated patron.